For the first time in decades public teachers will strike on Tuesday to highlight an impending statewide staffing crisis.
Principals will join with teachers in the 24-hour strike and the NSW Teachers Federation will launch an advertising campaign at the same time. The campaign message is — ‘Everyone’s bailing’.
NSW will need 11,000 new teachers in the next 10 years but graduates are not choosing teaching.
The federations fears a serious teacher shortage in the next five years. They cite low pay, a lack of respect and increasing workloads as reasons for falling teacher recruitment.
Kyogle High School principal Gae Masters said there will be minimum supervision arrangements in place for the proposed 24-hour strike on Tuesday.
“This means regular lessons will not operating on this day.” Ms Masters said.
“Kyogle High School appreciates parent and carers patience and understanding during this disruption, especially given the challenges we have all faced this year.”
The Industrial Relations Commission has ruled the strike as illegal.
A letter from the NSW Education Department, sent to all public schools, stated that the current Teachers Award for wages expires on December 31.
“The education department will offer a 2.5% salary increase.” the letter stated.
This is the maximum amount allowed under the Industrial Relations Act.
NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said they had negotiated with the state government for a better deal for teachers particularly in pay.
Instead of recognising the urgent need to lift salaries, the government is trying to lock in the 2.5% wages cap that has contributed so much to the decline in teachers’ salaries compared to other professions, Mr Gavrielatos said.
Check with your local school for details of how they will manage the strike day on Tuesday, December 7.